Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Next Big Adventure

I'm finally ready to share with you my big announcement of late. I'M PREGANT!

I kid. I can't be pregnant. Because I had my tubes tied.

I've talked a little bit this year about my anxiety over where my life is supposed to go next. Many of you are going through much of the same. In April I wandered off to the U.S. for a couple of weeks on the Twice Up the Barrel Tour to attempt to interview for some jobs. The plan, then, was to go to Salt Lake City and then to Washington D.C. to try to meet with as many law firms as possible. After some very unfortunate circumstances came to light, I cancelled the D.C. trip while I was basically on the way to the airport.

There was some anxiety over this, because this isn't exactly the best time in the history of job searching to let doors close. But I felt like that was the right thing to do at the time. And since I'm one of them God-fearin' folks, I usually try to do what feels "right," even if it doesn't always seem like the most logical decision on its surface. This has worked well for me plenty of times, so I carry on.

There was one firm I met with in Salt Lake City that for a number of years I have felt like would be a good fit for me. And thanks to the good graces of a great friend and mentor, I was able to meet with this firm while I was in town in April.

I returned to the land of coconuts and some time went by before I heard anything from them again. They emailed. They wanted to have me do a Skype interview with the Board of Directors for the firm. And I was FREAKED OUT about this because we hardly have what the kids are calling "the Internets" in Palau. And when they said they wanted to Skype with me, I immediately envisioned my shirtless self trying to talk to this intimidating group with Leotrix attacking me moments before the Internet exploded.

I have no suit in Palau. Or any clothes that looked like "interview" clothes. So I started scouring the island for anything I could try to make work. My friend Brian happened to have a blazer of sorts and we figured out that with the right dim lighting and angle and through a grainy Skype setting, I could make this blazer look like it could possibly be a nice suit jacket.

The Skype meeting took place around 1:00 in the morning, and you would have thought I was broadcasting the State of the Union Address from the Oval Office to see the setup in the apartment that night. We had several lamps, conspicuously placed to create optimal lighting, chairs on tables to get the laptop to the exact right height for making me look like I was dressed appropriately, and we were quadruple checking every piece of communication equipment in the house.

Of course, despite all of this great effort, I didn't bother wearing pants. IT'S HOT IN PALAU ALL THE TIME ALWAYS!!!

The interview went miraculously. And somehow Skype worked better during that hour than I have ever seen it work from Palau before.

Over the next few weeks, every time I saw that I had a new email, I screamed in horror and excitement, only to find that it was just another manipulative forward from geriatric relatives trying to get me to sign a petition to stop Hollywood from making a movie about worshiping toilets and slaughtering old people.

Then, at long last, it came. The firm offered me a job. And I couldn't be happier about it.

They asked me to start a little earlier than I expected, so I will finish my time in Palau at the beginning of September and then make my mass exodus across the world, back to Salt Lake City. In the coming weeks you can expect to hear lots of thoughts about leaving the equatorial Pacific and posts that will sound like Palau was an utterly joyful experience every single moment of every day. These will be lies. KIDDING. I'm very sad to be leaving Palau for many reasons. But more on that later.

I am happy to move back to Salt Lake. But there is a part of me that feels strange about telling you that I'm heading to something of a "hometown" to settle into what should be a stable long-term job. And that part of me regrets not being able to write you a post right now to tell you that for my next trick, I'll be working on a cattle farm in Mongolia or trying my hand at painting in Paris. But then the other part of me is all like, "CAFE RIO!"

My life really has felt like one exotic and sometimes stupid adventure after another for the last decade. In fact, ten years ago today I left my family to venture off to Ukraine for two years as a church missionary. This was the first time I ever left the United States. Since then, I've had the opportunity to see the world. To work in Europe's largest cities and the Pacific's smallest countries. At great personal inconvenience, I've had the chance to witness many walks of life, study dozens of different cultures, and get parasites from all sorts of questionable street vendors.

At times these experiences have been unbelievably challenging for me. And as a result, I have had the opportunity to cry in a LOT of different countries. But I wouldn't trade any of it. And words can't describe how grateful I feel that I've been able to experience what I have and that I've had so much support from family, friends, and Strangers through it all. I hope that these experiences won't stop just because I'm doing something that my responsible friends over the years have referred to as "settling down." For me, "settling down" is actually a pretty big adventure.

The adventurous and the strange are available to us no matter where we are. We don't have to be stranded in a Guatemalan swamp or trapped by a Palauan typhoon to have experiences that make us interesting. The funniest stories I ever hear tend most often to be about changing an explosive diaper at 2:00 in the morning or tripping up the stairs in front of a large group of people and pretending it was intentional. The point is, the memorable moments only exist as much as we are willing to remember them. And our lives are an adventure as much as we are willing to embrace the strange and see them that way. My next adventure will be in Salt Lake City. I hope you'll all join me on it.

Up next, finding out what a 401k is.

~It Just Gets Stranger

55 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your job! That's very exciting, and probably relieving, and not in a "you peed yourself" kind of way, but in a "phew, I can continue to pay for pest control" kind of way.

    Good luck on your new adventures. I look forward to reading how you adapt to big city life again.

    And cafe rio. So jealous.

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  2. Can't wait to see what stories come from moving back to Salt Lake. Congratulations on the new job, Eli. Should be a grand ol' time.

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  3. Hey!!! One of my beloved missionaries that baptized me is from Ukraine!!!! His accent was so cool.

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  4. A 401K sounds way harder than an Ironman. Just sayin'

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    1. We need a "like" button on Stranger cause often the replies are dead funny and I want to acknowledge that. So "like". And :)

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    2. Aaahahahah! favorite comment ever!

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  5. That might be good news... is September far enough away for you to research, interview, check testimonials and then employ the veritable army of pest controllers you'll need to make sure Leotrix doesn't hide a newly independant baby Leotrix in every piece of luggage you own?? Just wondering.

    Or, will it not be a problem because everything except the clothes you're wearing, or perhaps, including the clothes you're wearing belong to Daniel, who at this very moment is so busy sneezing out car doors to impress Krishelle with his... (insert adjective)... to even notice you are gone?

    Love your hair today, just by the way.
    Bridg

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    1. oooo Bridg, I wish Eli gave out more juicy details of their lives! Will Daniel get together with Krishelle, does Eli like girls etc etc

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    2. Hi Anonymous,

      As juicy as those details might be, I think you're missing the point...

      Who is going to do Eli's packing?
      What will Eli do for clothes if Daniel doesn't go too?
      What will Daniel do for clothes when Eli, forced by Krishelle and Daniel's indifference, to pack for himself, takes EVERYTHING back to the US?
      What will Eli do when he discovers he's introduced Leotrix to SLC?

      For what it's worth, I think fixed notions of sexuality are over-rated, while the opportunity to acquire someone else's clothes while they are engaged in some sort of unreasonable obsession with your sister is something to be highly valued... Go Eli... just remember to have everything irradiated to ensure you don't take huge mutant spiders or baby-very-ugly-rats home with you.

      Bridg

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  6. You left out the only part Strangers really care about! What are Daniel's plans?!

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    1. And all this time I thought you were reading to hear about MY life!

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  7. Is Daniel going to stay or go?!?

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  8. Congratulations Eli!! As much as we love and care about you....will Daniel be your roommate back in Salt Lake???

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  9. Mazel tov, Eli! You're right-- if you have adventure in your soul, then it doesn't matter where you are-- you will continue to generate lunacy for years to come.

    PS In addition to Sharknado, there's going to be a film called Ghost Shark coming out on cable soon. Surely that knowledge should ease the pain of leaving Palau.

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  10. And most importantly, when is Daniel going to marry my sister?

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    1. I'm sorry to break the news to ya but Daniel is going to marry my friend. :-)

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  11. Eli, I will follow you wherever you go, no matter who else goes with you. Thanks for sharing your life with us! It has brought me so much joy.

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  12. Congratulations Eli!!!!! Good luck on the new adventure! I hope Leotrix does not follow you. Where does Daniel fit into this new adventure? Also do you think Trixy Meowman will be upset due to relocating...yet AGAIN? Btw your hair looks amazing today!!! Much love from Ohio!

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  13. "The adventurous and the strange are available to us no matter where we are. The memorable moments only exist as much as we are willing to remember them. And our lives are an adventure as much as we are willing to embrace the strange and see them that way."

    Holy moly. Sometimes (pretty often, actually) you write the most profoundly beautiful things! Thanks for this one, I needed to hear it.

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  14. Yay, you're finally growing up! This probably means that you'll have to enter puberty soon... right?! While I am happy that you finally told us your big secret,I am worried that the QofC had her spies among us and is trying to locate your new job locale even as we speak. Be careful my friend!

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  15. Congratulations on the job and welcome back to the mainland (I'm not sure if that's the correct term but I'm going to pretend it is).

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  16. I feel the same way about Cafe Rio! I am from Utah myself, and every time I come back to the state, I wonder why I abandoned Cafe Rio when it has always been so good to me. But it keeps welcoming me back!

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  17. Congratulations!!!! And also, when you find out what that 401K thing is, can you let me know? K thanks, you're the best!

    The office says hello and twice up the barrel, once down the side (they said you'd know what that means).

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  18. "But then the other part of me is all like, "CAFE RIO!"

    I started dying of laughter when I read that. Now I want cafe rio.

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  19. Okay, so when you said, "My life really has felt like one exotic and sometimes stupid adventure" I honestly read it as "...one eRotic and sometimes..." I had to reread twice before I figured it out.

    Phew.

    On another note, congrats! I'm jealous of your Cafe Rio!

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  20. Congratulations!!!! I actually did once trip UP the stairs - in the courthouse no less (I'm a paralegal) - I was running up the stairs and tripped - splat - a kindly older lawyer came down to help me up. I still get embarrassed every time I see him. Thanks Jeebus I was wearing a pant suit that day and not a dress.

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  21. Congrats, Eli...and welcome home!

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  22. Congratulations! I hear there's this thing called paid vacation that comes with gainful employment. As a mother of 5I have no idea what that is, but if the rumor is true, you can have adventures...while getting paid! :)

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  23. Congratulations man! Life is a big adventure, enjoy it while you can. And big adventures can even happen in our own back yard.

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  24. Cafe Rio has been waiting for you with their delicious Mango Shrimp Tacos on Tuesday and the highly-addictive sweet pork burritos of every day. Nice work on throwing together a professional ensemble.

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  25. Congratulations!

    I can't believe your time in Palau is almost over. It seems like you just got there. For me, reading, anyway. I'm sure for you it feels like decades.

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  26. Happiest congratulations! (From someone you don't know but who likes your blog and wishes you happiness!)

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  27. Congrats on your new job!!!!

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  28. Congrats on the new job and the move! Wow we must have been in the MTC at the same time. This week is my 10 too. Will be looking forward to your adventures in Salt Lake!

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  29. Just so you know, the usual attire in a law office is to wear pants and shirts - no going around in all your glory with just a towel. We don't want you to get confused and are just looking out for you. Congratulations!

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  30. That whole tripping up the stairs in front of a large group of people is no joke...trying tripping up the stairs in front of roughly 120 6th graders that were all my students, 300 7th and 8th graders who were once my students, not to mention about 20 veterans at the Veteran's Day assemble where I teach. It was fun and the bruise that I got to keep at a souvenir was spectacular. Being laughed at by middle schoolers brought back so may fond memories of why I hated it the first time around.

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  31. But.. but... what about Leotrix? You're just gonna leave him like that??

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  32. 401K = 249.17 miles. Sorry if I ruined the adventure.

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    1. THIS is the best response!

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  33. Life is in session!!

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  34. Congrats! Now, what about Daniel?

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  35. Cafe Rio has come to DC. In case you ever end up out here.

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  36. Congrats on getting the job! You bet that I'll be there with you on your Salt Lake adventure. It's too bad I won't be able to see you for my birthday like last year. That was a real treat for me :) I hope to see you sometime when you come back.

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  37. Of course I didn't believe you were "PREGANT" - And you bet I will continue to stalk you in SLC.

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  38. CAFE RIO!!!!!!!! Welcome back to the goodness of such luxuries as this that Utah has to offer! Sweet! :D

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  39. Congrats on the job! I think I need to stop at Café Rio on my way home from work. What are Daniel's plans?

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  40. Hmm... I probably shouldn't post this on the internet. Whatever. But now that you're moving to SLC, I can stalk you! That sounds even stranger than it did in my head.

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  41. Yay! Congrats and welcome home, Eli!

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